The family and friends of a young boy who died after suffering from a rare form of cancer are collecting donations for Young Lives vs Cancer this weekend.

Family and friends of football fan Ben Jay will be collecting donations for Young Lives vs Cancer in his memory outside The Valley before Charlton Athletics’ game against Derby County on Saturday (February 3).

The are raising money for the charity in memory of Ben Jay who sadly died of liver cancer two years ago, aged just 17.

Ben Jay was your typical south east London teenager who lived for football and his beloved Charlton Athletic, spending lots of time with family and friends at The Valley.

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In 2020, Ben became unwell and despite multiple trips to the GP and A&E over the course of 18 months, he and his parents were told he was fine, and his symptoms were the cause of a long-term health condition Ben was living with.

However, after being rushed into hospital in July 2021 where he had various tests and scans, Ben and his family were given the devastating news that Ben had Hepatocellular carcinoma, a very rare type of liver cancer.

Just one month later, Ben had his first round of chemotherapy, followed by a further six rounds over the next few months.

Sadly, in November 2021, the family were told the chemotherapy wasn’t working and Ben would be moved to a palliative care plan.

On February 4, just seven months after receiving his cancer diagnosis, Ben died.

Sharon Jay, Ben’s mum said: “Our son was a huge Charlton fan that followed games home and away with his friends.

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“I would like to take the opportunity to thank Charlton FC especially Tracey Leaburn, as well as all the Charlton fans for the love and support they showed our Ben whilst fighting cancer.

“Ben had the most amazing 7 months a young boy could ask for.

“Ben’s dream to walk on the pitch alongside the players was fulfilled, to have his name shouted from the stands but most of all the applause by fans and players was truly an amazing memory for us as Ben’s parents that will forever stay in our hearts, we will always be forever grateful.”

You can donate to the fundraiser here 

Last year in London, Young Lives vs Cancer helped 728 families find the strength to face cancer.

They gave out 594 financial grants to the value of £113,027 helping families to cope with the costs of cancer. The Cancer Costs report from the charity found that families with a child on active treatment spend an extra £700 a month.

Alice Bellinelli, Young Lives vs Cancer Fundraising Engagement Manager for South London said: “When cancer strikes young lives we step in to help families find the strength to face everything cancer throws at them.

"We rely entirely on donations to fund our vital work and so we can’t thank all at Charlton Athletic FC enough for their fantastic efforts as well as Ben Jay’s family who continue to raise money for other young people with cancer.”